The Incomparable

93: Monstor

 

  the incomparable part test number 93 too [TS]

  well [TS]

  welcome back everybody to the [TS]

  incomparable podcast I'm your host Jason [TS]

  smell this is another edition of our [TS]

  book club and I have two participants to [TS]

  brave brave participants who are going [TS]

  to join me to discuss two novels by [TS]

  science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi [TS]

  I said it [TS]

  listen to me look I said his name now I [TS]

  learned how to pronounce palla bicycle [TS]

  loop his name because he wrote a book [TS]

  called the windup girl which was [TS]

  actually one shared the hugo award a [TS]

  couple of years back for best novel and [TS]

  I loved it and I voted for it and it was [TS]

  excellent and he also wrote around the [TS]

  same time a young adult novel called [TS]

  ship breaker which one a whole lot of [TS]

  awards most it was a finalist for the [TS]

  National Book Award it won the Prince [TS]

  award and the locus award which is a [TS]

  sci-fi award for best young adult book [TS]

  is a very very good book and has spawned [TS]

  follow-up called the drowned cities [TS]

  which was released i believe last month [TS]

  very recently so it's a new release so [TS]

  these are these are books in the same [TS]

  universe they are not directly connected [TS]

  except for one character which will get [TS]

  to but I I think ship breaker is a [TS]

  fantastic and we have talked about it [TS]

  briefly on a couple of podcast before [TS]

  Scott McNulty who joins me here [TS]

  it was the first person to mention this [TS]

  book to me and he got me to read it and [TS]

  he said great things about it [TS]

  Scott thanks for being here to talk [TS]

  about it a little bit more uh oh I say [TS]

  that uh his last name as a bacigalupi [TS]

  right be sure i don't know if it's right [TS]

  secondly bacigalupi bocce ball except in [TS]

  my head whenever I read that's how good [TS]

  it sounds a bicycle loopy but I can kind [TS]

  of soup paci GL UPI is he's uh his [TS]

  extraction I believe maybe italian but [TS]

  he is is he lives in Colorado he's an [TS]

  American who listen color and that other [TS]

  Voice you heard was serenity caldwell [TS]

  who volunteered to read ship breaker and [TS]

  also to read the drowned cities which is [TS]

  in the midst of doing so we will say [TS]

  goodbye to her before we talk about it [TS]

  so that she does not [TS]

  that spoiled she can go read it when [TS]

  horns for me and where does your sign to [TS]

  dive i will i will dive underneath the [TS]

  deep seas of my bed covers and read the [TS]

  rest of the book like a a good reader so [TS]

  the author which now I'm Scott give me a [TS]

  complex i'm going to call bicycle loopy [TS]

  but whatever you can call him what you [TS]

  like Colin bacigalupi go ahead a but [TS]

  paulo I'll take a loop [TS]

  he is he is basically not just a sci-fi [TS]

  writer he's like an eco sci-fi writer so [TS]

  he writes these books that are about [TS]

  their set in a world or or different [TS]

  worlds but that they have something in [TS]

  common which is this the idea that we [TS]

  are living in an accelerated age and the [TS]

  point of peak oil is coming and at that [TS]

  point there's going to be an energy [TS]

  collapse and and bad things are going to [TS]

  happen to what we think of as modern [TS]

  industrialized society and in the windup [TS]

  girl we see one version of that and here [TS]

  we see we see another where the United [TS]

  States has basically been broken to bits [TS]

  by the loss of oil and in ship breaker [TS]

  we meet nailer and and what they'll [TS]

  nailer and and his team of people who [TS]

  are basically running salvage like crew [TS]

  tearing apart ships and stay for for [TS]

  their parts and their and their metal [TS]

  which is not that far off from some [TS]

  things that happen in the real world [TS]

  when there are there's a place in i want [TS]

  to say Bangladesh where they where they [TS]

  tear apart ships for their mettle and [TS]

  it's not that far off but it's happening [TS]

  in the United States in a post you know [TS]

  almost apocalyptic eco apocalyptic [TS]

  United States not at for a young adult [TS]

  book this is not like a young boys [TS]

  adventures with his dog and his paper [TS]

  out this his this is this is dark stuff [TS]

  this is a the diana wynne jones for out [TS]

  of young adult which I actually really [TS]

  appreciate where it just it treats kids [TS]

  you know teenagers as we know you're not [TS]

  stupid we know that you enjoy a [TS]

  well-crafted story just as much as an [TS]

  adult does we're just going to take out [TS]

  some of the [TS]

  more violent aspects but even this even [TS]

  this book has has its fair share of [TS]

  violence [TS]

  yeah yeah it's it's um you know it's [TS]

  it's a tough world and there's violence [TS]

  and there's a a really bad father figure [TS]

  nailers father is a very gives Darth [TS]

  Vader run for his money [TS]

  very bad guy and they're in there on the [TS]

  Gulf Coast basically except that the the [TS]

  global warming because again a co-writer [TS]

  the global warming has caused the Seas [TS]

  to rise and so that there's an Orleans [TS]

  to because the New Orleans is completely [TS]

  gone and three Orleans yes there are [TS]

  many say don't call the thorough Orleans [TS]

  or lanes are many cities that are [TS]

  drowned [TS]

  mmm her house we'll get back to that but [TS]

  um so I mean the starts though it it's [TS]

  funny one of the things that I want to [TS]

  talk about about the two books is which [TS]

  one is which one is darker and I [TS]

  actually keep going back and forth on it [TS]

  in this one [TS]

  you've got these uh these kids are into [TS]

  these terrible conditions as scavengers [TS]

  and and we meet when we mean Taylor he [TS]

  almost dies right because he's he's deep [TS]

  down in these narrow passages in the [TS]

  ship and he falls into a into a tank [TS]

  into a gas tank and thinks he's gonna [TS]

  die but he ends up being a smart being [TS]

  smart enough to save himself and you [TS]

  know and and when he gets back to shore [TS]

  it's not any better this is just kind of [TS]

  a a chaotic environment where they're [TS]

  working for for almost nothing and [TS]

  there's a you know there's a fast [TS]

  company above them that is that is sort [TS]

  of far away and and it you know really [TS]

  it's like a forced labor camp almost [TS]

  it's just incredibly poor squalid [TS]

  conditions so you know it's that I think [TS]

  that's it's pretty rough stuff for [TS]

  something that's that's a young adult [TS]

  definitely I mean I i read a lot of [TS]

  really really dark young adult books [TS]

  growing up and I tend to prefer those [TS]

  and I'd I mean I feel like most avid [TS]

  readers tend to prefer something that's [TS]

  a little more complex and a little less [TS]

  black and white and heat I mean he does [TS]

  a really good job [TS]

  I didn't really realize until the end of [TS]

  ship breaker that this was actually [TS]

  meant to be a young adult book I because [TS]

  the way that it was portrayed in the [TS]

  language that was used i just kind of [TS]

  assumed oh it's you know it's just a [TS]

  book with younger characters and then [TS]

  when i was looking stuff up in advance [TS]

  this podcast was like oh this was [TS]

  written specifically to be a young adult [TS]

  book okay why I get that I think the [TS]

  best young adult books though are [TS]

  written like normal books they just [TS]

  happened to star maybe slightly younger [TS]

  cast wonder whether some you know [TS]

  there's some language limitations and [TS]

  ended the rally and I which is just [TS]

  wrong and there isn't and there isn't [TS]

  there isn't sex and that you know that [TS]

  those are the like sort of defining it's [TS]

  got to be kind of a PG but you can be [TS]

  really you know really dark around those [TS]

  two limitations Scott you have issues [TS]

  with when you read something young adult [TS]

  is it you know is it isn't that big a [TS]

  deal or or does it doesn't matter [TS]

  well I I generally do not like young [TS]

  adult books mostly because i enjoy [TS]

  reading I sort of said you up there [TS]

  because i know i don't get w you know I [TS]

  but generally despised young adult books [TS]

  frankly mostly because i think that you [TS]

  as Wren said they they tend to simplify [TS]

  things and uh i enjoy reading books that [TS]

  have complicated language and kind of [TS]

  multifaceted plots generally that's not [TS]

  to say i don't like a book with a quick [TS]

  plot that you know is straightforward [TS]

  because i also read a lot of mysteries [TS]

  that generally are you know to figure [TS]

  out who killed somebody and that's it [TS]

  but it's not like 14 different things [TS]

  are happening at once and then at the [TS]

  end it all comes together [TS]

  that being said I think that ship [TS]

  breaker rises above the general cross [TS]

  of crappy young adult books in that his [TS]

  well written [TS]

  yes it does is a plus yes and so that [TS]

  keeps me engaged even though the plot [TS]

  itself is fairly straightforward and I [TS]

  have no problem with that [TS]

  he manages to keep it interesting enough [TS]

  and keep the pace very quick which I [TS]

  appreciate [TS]

  and there isn't kind of like you know [TS]

  the young adult the kind of the trip to [TS]

  the young adults the kid finds out he [TS]

  has special powers that you know nobody [TS]

  appreciates it but then he suddenly a [TS]

  wizard and everybody is great and he's [TS]

  going to save the world need a dealer is [TS]

  not a wizard but no Clara fide he's [TS]

  apparently quick he's a kid [TS]

  yes he's talented smart kid but he's [TS]

  just a kid I feel like I father issues i [TS]

  add my shelf of good young adult books [TS]

  Scott because I may have missed so when [TS]

  I was a kid I was trying to think of in [TS]

  preparation of this what young adult [TS]

  books i read because both ship breaker [TS]

  and drowned cities are you know marketed [TS]

  as young adults and I was thinking to [TS]

  myself why I don't know what age group [TS]

  of young adult is but reading both of [TS]

  them I wouldn't think that young kids [TS]

  should really read them I don't know but [TS]

  a young adult is usually at least the [TS]

  way that I've seen it marketed is aged [TS]

  like 10-11 to age 17 it's a pretty wide [TS]

  range it's not for I'd say it's it's for [TS]

  kids in like the higher grades and then [TS]

  starting in middle school middle school [TS]

  is usually the starting because I mean [TS]

  most of the young adult books you know [TS]

  you're talking about the tropes you do [TS]

  get a little bit of the budding romance [TS]

  but not necessarily full-fledged [TS]

  Stephenie Meyer Twilight craziness like [TS]

  I so II you've got to be a certain i [TS]

  think i have a certain age to appreciate [TS]

  that but well you know why a is this new [TS]

  new ish category there's a i remember [TS]

  when i first heard the concept was like [TS]

  oh ok i guess that makes sense but you [TS]

  know some writers don't write books that [TS]

  are you know that have a lot of language [TS]

  and have a lot of graphic sex and and so [TS]

  it's interesting that now there's this [TS]

  category that's sort of in the middle [TS]

  there [TS]

  and yet a lot of yaa stuff is also read [TS]

  by adults and good young adult fiction [TS]

  is perfectly good for adults right it's [TS]

  not you're not reading and this is the [TS]

  argument when you read Harry Potter and [TS]

  i know that's a sore spot with Scott who [TS]

  didn't like Harry Potter but those are [TS]

  books that have become successful not [TS]

  just because kids read them but because [TS]

  adults read them and and you know good [TS]

  good fiction in that slot is good [TS]

  fiction and the problem is that i think [TS]

  there's some writers who then say i'm [TS]

  gonna i'm going to target this and I'm [TS]

  going to dumb it down and that's when it [TS]

  I I think maybe it breaks down and a [TS]

  previous podcast Scott mentioned that [TS]

  Ian McDonald who wrote a book that Scott [TS]

  and I thought was fantastic last year [TS]

  actually I think we both voted or voted [TS]

  for it [TS]

  my vote counted because i paid the money [TS]

  and scott's boat didn't count but it [TS]

  didn't for best for best novel for the [TS]

  hugo awards in mcdonalds the Dervish [TS]

  house you know he that's a fantastic [TS]

  book and he wrote a young adult book [TS]

  that Scott red and said was really bad [TS]

  because I and I worry that he just sort [TS]

  of said well its young adult I'm gonna [TS]

  take my plot my intricate plots and make [TS]

  them not intricate and simplify [TS]

  everything and then it will be dumb [TS]

  which is you know I don't know what you [TS]

  want to know in a good book whether it's [TS]

  young adults or not it shouldn't be dumb [TS]

  i read through more or less the entire [TS]

  young adult section at both my local [TS]

  library and my local borders over a [TS]

  course of like five or six years and [TS]

  that while there are some books that [TS]

  really stand out my memory and some will [TS]

  probably bring up later on the podcast [TS]

  as they relate to ship breaker [TS]

  they were definitely like their arse [TS]

  logs in in that in that category where [TS]

  you just run into very very like you run [TS]

  into somebody who wants to be Judy Blume [TS]

  except with magic or with you know [TS]

  post-apocalyptic sci-fi I and it just [TS]

  doesn't it doesn't work so well but [TS]

  there were plenty i mean even even [TS]

  something that was fairly widespread [TS]

  like animorphs which was clearly I mean [TS]

  that was a a big giant series that had [TS]

  its share and was written i can remember [TS]

  that was written by a series of of [TS]

  people are just one person but it was [TS]

  you know it would have both [TS]

  x where they would very clearly be oh [TS]

  well we're actually this is just about [TS]

  young people and young in situations and [TS]

  not really dumb down language and then [TS]

  there were other books in that series [TS]

  which was just unbearable to read [TS]

  because you're looking at this year like [TS]

  I feel like this was a writing [TS]

  assignment that i got in high score in [TS]

  in like fifth grade [TS]

  it's like bobbin Jeremy are going on an [TS]

  adventure bad writing batteries [TS]

  batteries bad well you know young adult [TS]

  right I suppose young adults have young [TS]

  adult protagonist that's part of the [TS]

  deal although there are lots of [TS]

  perfectly good fine you know [TS]

  high-quality novels that that have young [TS]

  adults as protagonists and-and-and it [TS]

  you know we wouldn't look down upon them [TS]

  for doing that it i do think that [TS]

  there's a right like people are smelling [TS]

  money from yeah especially because harry [TS]

  potter rightness ago geez I gotta get [TS]

  some of that and so you've got some [TS]

  people who are reading good books and [TS]

  some people who are trying to find a [TS]

  market for you know that by writing [TS]

  something targeted at the market that [TS]

  they think might make them a lot of [TS]

  money and i feel like when i was a young [TS]

  adult there was not a young adult genre [TS]

  well they worthy I mean there are things [TS]

  that were kinda adult book i'm reading [TS]

  juvenile science fiction right which was [TS]

  like pulp stuff from the fifties I think [TS]

  more than I mean they're like boys [TS]

  magazines it but it wasn't like a [TS]

  juggernaut that it is now and the people [TS]

  are no it's very clearly labeled now in [TS]

  a way that it i don't think it was it is [TS]

  only really just started to go that way [TS]

  when I was growing up like there wasn't [TS]

  really even a young adult section in the [TS]

  book store until I was 16 or 17 i want [TS]

  to say i usually just kind of jump [TS]

  lumped in with fiction and it was like [TS]

  maybe a subcategory with infections like [TS]

  people with young protect your books [TS]

  with young protagonists rather than [TS]

  young adults right right right i mean i [TS]

  would just end up in the sci-fi section [TS]

  and pick out a book and you know and and [TS]

  it's it's a the split infinity by piers [TS]

  anthony and i read that it's like oh god [TS]

  they're people having sex in this book i [TS]

  will read the next book now right so it [TS]

  was you know that I I think that's part [TS]

  of it too is this weird thing I keep [TS]

  liking it too [TS]

  PG rating it's I I that is some strange [TS]

  part of this young adult thing is it's [TS]

  it's a category where there's sort of an [TS]

  implied cleanness of content which you [TS]

  know III as a parent I appreciate that [TS]

  but it's it's strange and so you end up [TS]

  with books that are legitimately good [TS]

  books and then you end up with books [TS]

  that are that are not and ship breaker [TS]

  which is again what we're talking about [TS]

  is a good book it's I mean it's not it [TS]

  didn't feel to me like it was a [TS]

  watered-down a windup girl or something [TS]

  like that it feels like legitimately [TS]

  good books I story [TS]

  ya know it just happens to have young [TS]

  protagonists as the lead characters but [TS]

  it is a story is a story where adults [TS]

  exist and where some adults are very [TS]

  good and some adults are very scary and [TS]

  there are shades of grey whereas they [TS]

  might not otherwise be yeah I'm chip [TS]

  bigger actually reminds me of two books [TS]

  I read when I was growing up there was a [TS]

  book called the the ear the eye and the [TS]

  arm which I think when a alda cot or a [TS]

  newbery or something like that which was [TS]

  sort of post-apocalyptic or i guess not [TS]

  post-apocalyptic future world where you [TS]

  get three people who are were a not even [TS]

  guns for hire but like detectives for [TS]

  hire and they have to go find am missing [TS]

  a missing privileged girl and then also [TS]

  a book by I think Karthik's called [TS]

  shades children which deals with kind of [TS]

  again the weird sci-fi post-apocalyptic [TS]

  but also running from big bads and I got [TS]

  a very similar vibe from ship breaker to [TS]

  both of those two books where it's it's [TS]

  a very dark world and you're talking [TS]

  you're putting basically relatively [TS]

  young children and even in shipwreck her [TS]

  there's a there's a mention about just [TS]

  how young you know [TS]

  Naylor is and how he doesn't really even [TS]

  recognize that fact just because he's [TS]

  like well you know you're either light [TS]

  crew or your or your heavy crew you can [TS]

  either create a small enough to fit or [TS]

  you're not and he's aged just getting [TS]

  big enough that he's not going to be [TS]

  able to be like [TS]

  crew anymore exactly we don't even find [TS]

  out these characters ages until over [TS]

  halfway through that first book when [TS]

  he's quite literally coming-of-age he's [TS]

  getting to the point where he is he is [TS]

  getting bigger and of course there's a [TS]

  girl right there is a pretty girl [TS]

  inner-city got in a wreck ship and [TS]

  there's a 12 mm and you've had that [TS]

  moment which is like who i kinda like [TS]

  her something about her is different [TS]

  than what you love then turn that on its [TS]

  head though because I mean they find her [TS]

  when presumably she's dead she's dead [TS]

  and they try to cut off her fingers to [TS]

  get her gold regular jewelry that's yeah [TS]

  that's how they discover she's alive [TS]

  it's a very it's turning on its head of [TS]

  it the typical it's not really your [TS]

  usual meet-cute yeah no not so much [TS]

  hi you know we fell in love how do we [TS]

  fall in love all I was sawing off your [TS]

  fingers that's how I met my wife very [TS]

  bloody story [TS]

  thank goodness she woke up I don't think [TS]

  she could keep her jewelry and you can't [TS]

  exactly and i think that it was [TS]

  interesting so one of the things i like [TS]

  about this setting is he concentrates [TS]

  obviously want to make a point about you [TS]

  know eco-friendliness and how the world [TS]

  is going to go to pot because yeah our [TS]

  short-term thing friends us yes exactly [TS]

  but then he shows there's a clear like [TS]

  as you're reading it you think okay [TS]

  everybody is just living in squalor and [TS]

  then you realize know there's this whole [TS]

  other world of people that have the [TS]

  ships that have like Paris tales that [TS]

  can go fast and go over the place and [TS]

  have advanced technology that the other [TS]

  clipper ships that span the oceans and [TS]

  lakes high tech I really want a [TS]

  clippership when end and the neda is is [TS]

  a the child of these people who own [TS]

  these big companies that have this money [TS]

  she's she's the one that they meet and [TS]

  when they're trying to cut off the [TS]

  fingers and and she's like an heiress [TS]

  basically 2a and God has gotten caught [TS]

  up in a in a plot among the rich people [TS]

  and so there and and was attacked but [TS]

  you know she's never known you know she [TS]

  in some ways which is funny she's kind [TS]

  of our proxy in the sense that she is [TS]

  from a world [TS]

  where there isn't the kind of squalor [TS]

  that is on the beach with the with the [TS]

  ship breakers where you know where [TS]

  things are really miserable and awful [TS]

  and she has kind of no idea and and and [TS]

  so she becomes our proxy except for [TS]

  viewing it through the eyes of nailer [TS]

  and we're looking at her thinking you [TS]

  know who is this person and then [TS]

  oh it's us actually that's who she has [TS]

  just boiled and has anything she wants [TS]

  and whereas he's incredibly poor and [TS]

  fighting for survival [TS]

  I actually really like how I'm not gonna [TS]

  try and pronounce the author's name [TS]

  Apollo the greats [TS]

  but you're gonna be yeah you may have [TS]

  mr. B mr. B yes but the eco integration [TS]

  into the story [TS]

  it kind of snuck up on me where i'm [TS]

  reading this and I'm like man drowned [TS]

  cities and city killer and you slowly [TS]

  start to realize oh this is you know [TS]

  this is the United States and you [TS]

  realize oh it's because of crude oil [TS]

  drilling but it's never it's never gone [TS]

  out and explicitly said yes humans you [TS]

  are bad you are destroying things [TS]

  beware for there will come a day when [TS]

  all of this comes you know there's there [TS]

  are certain books it's better for that [TS]

  yeah and it's just kind of like know [TS]

  this is you know this is how it is [TS]

  dropping and jam it down your throat and [TS]

  actually there's a lot of here it's a [TS]

  lot of stuff within this book in that [TS]

  sort of manner which I really appreciate [TS]

  it so nice to as a reader be able to [TS]

  actually discover things for yourself [TS]

  and not feel like the author is saying [TS]

  yes focus on this for it will be [TS]

  important in 50 pages from now feed ya [TS]

  another one thing I hate more than young [TS]

  adult books are preaching books that are [TS]

  trying to tell teach me a lesson [TS]

  overtly and and so this book is [TS]

  obviously it has a theme and he he is [TS]

  clearly a a an environmentalist but he's [TS]

  not saying you know the characters don't [TS]

  stop and say gee wouldn't have been [TS]

  great if we had thought about this [TS]

  before this all happened message to the [TS]

  past [TS]

  exactly you you're destroying us your [TS]

  you cause this you cause to know that [TS]

  simply its implicit and and but he did [TS]

  it right there isn't a moment where they [TS]

  turned the camera basically and say if [TS]

  only you would you had saved your oil [TS]

  and not know it I mean it really his his [TS]

  whole deal here is to say I'm i built [TS]

  into the world once you accept this [TS]

  world exists you accept that we've [TS]

  completely squandered you know [TS]

  everything and this is the remnant sort [TS]

  of the the you know hollowed-out remnant [TS]

  of our society after we run out of fuel [TS]

  and I just hope that I'm on the [TS]

  high-tech part and I'm not yelling on [TS]

  the clippership exactly you want to go [TS]

  live in the midwest that's right don't [TS]

  want another character in this in this [TS]

  story is is a very sci-fi character [TS]

  we've got these regular human beings who [TS]

  are struggling to get along but that's [TS]

  not all we are in a sci-fi novel and we [TS]

  have two lamented who is an argument he [TS]

  is a half man as they call him but he is [TS]

  a creation from human dog hyena tiger [TS]

  many other kinds of animal and he is a [TS]

  he walks like a man [TS]

  hamster yes right Mockingbird trout [TS]

  yes a most mosquito leaner yeah exactly [TS]

  he's every animal really um he is he is [TS]

  a a walks like a man but he is a killing [TS]

  machine he's he's smarter than people [TS]

  and much more dangerous than people and [TS]

  they meet him the art nailer and Annie [TS]

  to meet him and he becomes a he becomes [TS]

  their sort of traveling companion and [TS]

  and helper and what's funny about it is [TS]

  when he's introduced he's sort of you [TS]

  know he's a monster [TS]

  it's very much like the the [TS]

  sort of you you meet the monster and [TS]

  then you realize the monster may not be [TS]

  as bad as the people and and dry [TS]

  yeah yeah yeah because because they [TS]

  always father Richard Lopez is really [TS]

  really bad raising aside [TS]

  yeah as a side note i find it very [TS]

  interesting that all of the characters [TS]

  have real names up into a certain age [TS]

  where it's like all of nailers parents [TS]

  generation has real names but nailer and [TS]

  all of his crew folk to a certain like [TS]

  of rage [TS]

  yeah they all have things like naylor or [TS]

  I mean even need it gets a lucky girl [TS]

  you know right and you don't get the [TS]

  sense that these are nicknames you get [TS]

  the sense that these are actually these [TS]

  are the names that they grew up with [TS]

  everybody's open up [TS]

  yeah but this it's like surnames are not [TS]

  important anymore actual inventive [TS]

  things are not important if they've run [TS]

  out of names they are not a [TS]

  non-renewable resources host yes its [TS]

  post name apocalypse and uh huh [TS]

  there's no more than anybody region [TS]

  America reach peak naming and since then [TS]

  it's all been downhill great Taylor [TS]

  shortage of 2012 and mouse so tool is a [TS]

  really interesting character because [TS]

  what you know he is he does seem to be [TS]

  this monster and maybe he is a monster [TS]

  right and yet he is he helps them [TS]

  he's an honorable you get the sense i [TS]

  mean you're told that he is not like [TS]

  other half men in fact when they go to [TS]

  Orleans and they're they're like hiding [TS]

  in the water trying not to be spotted [TS]

  and there's like a squat that they're in [TS]

  at one point and then there are there [TS]

  are half men on the ship and and and you [TS]

  know you get to see what the other [TS]

  monsters are like and they are [TS]

  completely subservient to their masters [TS]

  and then there's tool who is he's like [TS]

  the rebel he's like the one who went [TS]

  wrong and he's a monster who is [TS]

  rebelling and that's good because that [TS]

  means he's not a monster [TS]

  he's more than a monster and it's just [TS]

  such a really interesting character that [TS]

  that just kind of drops in and then he [TS]

  you know he helps them out and they [TS]

  cling to the back of railroad cars [TS]

  as they travel along the countryside and [TS]

  he he sort of whip them into shape which [TS]

  is it's it's just a very interesting [TS]

  character [TS]

  I mean he's a he's a pseudo parental [TS]

  figure wow what a parent yeah do I know [TS]

  but actually the the whole idea of the [TS]

  arguments and not having read more than [TS]

  a hundred pages of the second book i'm [TS]

  really curious to see where that goes [TS]

  because tool does crossover is the only [TS]

  community use the crossover character is [TS]

  mia much more problem wasn't cool to [TS]

  leave out of the second book clearly [TS]

  forbids we can leave them by the wayside [TS]

  but he's like the the whole concept of [TS]

  the augments in the idea of yes we're [TS]

  going to genetically alter these people [TS]

  like combined humans with all of these [TS]

  various animal DNA is to create the [TS]

  ultimate bodyguard and then we're going [TS]

  to train them almost you know impress [TS]

  upon their minds that they may only have [TS]

  one master i'm really curious not [TS]

  knowing the end of drowned or the end of [TS]

  drowned cities yes that's the second one [TS]

  yes um if we find out just why tool is [TS]

  very different from the other the other [TS]

  arguments like why how he was able to [TS]

  break his conditioning because I mean [TS]

  they say very clearly in the first book [TS]

  when they meet other other half men you [TS]

  know it's impossible it's theoretically [TS]

  impossible for an augment to ever betray [TS]

  or walk away from their master because [TS]

  they're programmed to basically died of [TS]

  longing if the their master dies or you [TS]

  know goes away someone I don't think [TS]

  it's explained other than he's not you [TS]

  know he's he's an error [TS]

  he's not hooked up right he is supposed [TS]

  to behave like that he doesn't have [TS]

  anything that's further along this with [TS]

  this theme of you know that humankind [TS]

  fiddle around with things that shouldn't [TS]

  and it expects the things to work like [TS]

  they think it doesn't that he doesn't [TS]

  and so he's you know everyone who to [TS]

  read like the world exactly screwed up [TS]

  the Augmented creatures which is i mean [TS]

  that that is this book could be just [TS]

  saying well you know you can't you guys [TS]

  kind of screwed up [TS]

  the whole energy thing and and now we're [TS]

  reaping the rewards that global warming [TS]

  and all these things and yet he does [TS]

  have this whole other thing that gets [TS]

  thrown in which is genetic engineering [TS]

  and after you you smell side plot yet [TS]

  you spend some time thinking this is [TS]

  really about these kids who are tearing [TS]

  apart the ships and their terrible life [TS]

  on shore and then they find the ship [TS]

  that's crashed and there's a girl they [TS]

  try to cut off her finger but she's [TS]

  actually alive so they can't cut off her [TS]

  finger and yet on the side there's this [TS]

  oh did we mention that there are also [TS]

  bioengineered monsters who are smarter [TS]

  than people who are used to soldiers [TS]

  that's also bad [TS]

  no just throw that in there that also is [TS]

  that it's counter to nature [TS]

  kind of except he ends up being cut more [TS]

  of a hero than its although there are [TS]

  plenty of scary half men in this book [TS]

  yeah there are really and I also like [TS]

  the we see much more than the drowned [TS]

  cities actually we see the swells we see [TS]

  the the with rich people here where [TS]

  there's there's this corporate [TS]

  imagination going on between the the [TS]

  people who are struggling for the [TS]

  control of a of Nita's come to shipping [TS]

  family's company right and and and now [TS]

  that's going on and that's fascinating [TS]

  because from the perspective of the poor [TS]

  kids on the beach it's like who cares [TS]

  right it's just like beyond completely [TS]

  beyond them because holidays you guys [TS]

  are fighting over who gets more of this [TS]

  huge amount of money and we are [TS]

  completely penniless and on the beach [TS]

  and I feel like in in all of of bicycle [TS]

  Lupe's work that CI said there are there [TS]

  i scented we get this one of his tricks [TS]

  which i think is really effective is he [TS]

  takes situations that are you know this [TS]

  is about the future and it's about [TS]

  ecology and and about the environment [TS]

  it's also about the present and and his [TS]

  trick is that he's taking situations [TS]

  that happen now and turns them around to [TS]

  make them about as if they were [TS]

  happening to us and so he makes a point [TS]

  when he's talking about these poor kids [TS]

  that are getting beaten and threatened [TS]

  by gunfire and in both of these books [TS]

  and pointing out that it's black kids [TS]

  and Asian kids white kids they're blonde [TS]

  girl blonde kids that are there working [TS]

  as slaves and and and he's really saying [TS]

  you know you guys are used to the poor [TS]

  people you know being in far-off places [TS]

  and not looking like you and in my [TS]

  stories they look like you they are you [TS]

  and and that's part of what he does so [TS]

  it you know he's saying you know today [TS]

  we've got very poor parts of the world [TS]

  and then we've got very rich parts of [TS]

  the world that that are arguing about [TS]

  their first world problems right and [TS]

  that's exactly what happens in ship [TS]

  breaker is that is that Nina and her [TS]

  family have a lot of first world [TS]

  problems and the kids on the beach like [TS]

  you know [TS]

  hello I'm hoping to get food tonight [TS]

  well yeah I doubt that there are people [TS]

  you know they age dockworkers and South [TS]

  Korea really care about the facebook IPO [TS]

  right where it's you know it's like no [TS]

  I'm gonna you know work for my daily [TS]

  bread and get enough money to feed my [TS]

  family and the kids in bangladesh that [TS]

  are disassembling ships are are not do [TS]

  not care about what's happening with the [TS]

  latest in computer technology right now [TS]

  they don't care they're they're far away [TS]

  from that sort of thing [TS]

  yeah so I think that's one of that's one [TS]

  of a of his very effective sometimes [TS]

  tricks of of saying no this is not [TS]

  happening in a far-off land this is [TS]

  happening here are our own world has [TS]

  disintegrated and this is what it's like [TS]

  to live in a poor miserable place the [TS]

  vestiges bringing more close to home [TS]

  residents that said this is not a this [TS]

  is not a depressing kind of book the [TS]

  setting is depressing but it is a fun [TS]

  entertaining book about these smart kids [TS]

  doing what they can to survive and [TS]

  making some smart decisions in the end [TS]

  out to to beat beat the bad guys with [TS]

  the help of their you know monster [TS]

  I don't know what his mentor he's a [TS]

  monster and a mentor might see someone [TS]

  store [TS]

  exactly i wish i had a monster I will [TS]

  meet him one [TS]

  today it's got what I I mean I realize [TS]

  you and I both read this book a long [TS]

  time ago i was in Scott book years it [TS]

  was like two centuries ago [TS]

  yeah yeah you have anything else that [TS]

  sticks out for you about about ship [TS]

  breaker that we have uh huh i love the [TS]

  end where they're smart enough that they [TS]

  know the terrain of the bay that they're [TS]

  legally lowering the ship into and so [TS]

  you know there's that moment wait for it [TS]

  wait for it [TS]

  there we because the kids know like [TS]

  where the rocks [TS]

  all right but not even rocks dead [TS]

  underwater building scale yeah right [TS]

  that's right right right which is kinda [TS]

  ruined crazy [TS]

  although i will say the one thing that [TS]

  flag me about that ending was I nailers [TS]

  father is technically on the big bad [TS]

  enemy ship wouldn't he know about the [TS]

  big giant skyscraper teeth that nailers [TS]

  leading in into or maybe he's just not [TS]

  know either with the captain I think [TS]

  Richard Lopez like nah day he's kind of [TS]

  not legitimate figure he he doesn't [TS]

  really know all the stuff like he was [TS]

  always like a fixer and he was on the [TS]

  beach and I think he's not he was heavy [TS]

  crew for a while I mean I know he was [TS]

  also like you know later but I i want to [TS]

  say like he probably knew the area [TS]

  goodbye at the same time they do mention [TS]

  that that ship is a much bigger ship [TS]

  than the tiny ship and it was one of [TS]

  those things where I was like this is [TS]

  the only thing that distracts from being [TS]

  absolutely perfect [TS]

  alright but so absolutely perfect you [TS]

  say so [TS]

  so I i can I take this test then that [TS]

  you enjoyed your your reading of ship [TS]

  breaker i did not expect to but I really [TS]

  did well I want you ready ready because [TS]

  it was going to be in the book club and [TS]

  you're like alright i'll read it [TS]

  these jerks want me to read it Scott [TS]

  said he liked it but shinno scott i mean [TS]

  i i've had sort of 5050 luck the book [TS]

  club was like I've started like dervish [TS]

  house i remember reading I don't know [TS]

  200 pages of and being like I'm sure [TS]

  this book will eventually get really [TS]

  interesting but it's just catching me [TS]

  i know i know i'll finish it sometime [TS]

  right for you [TS]

  yeah and that's absolutely it is a slow [TS]

  build oh yeah when I just said that [TS]

  point I didn't have time to really like [TS]

  sit back and enjoy a thousand-page book [TS]

  with a 300-page slow build-up but with [TS]

  this one you know the first couple [TS]

  chapters are slow and I thought I [TS]

  expected myself to get kind of impatient [TS]

  with it but they build it so nicely like [TS]

  there are a lot of things that happened [TS]

  in this relatively short book but none [TS]

  of them to feel rushed [TS]

  none of them feel overlong either it's a [TS]

  it's just a really nice balance with a [TS]

  gigantic really well formed world [TS]

  considering again the limited book space [TS]

  in which they had to explain it like all [TS]

  of the conflicts feel real the [TS]

  background of the beach you know the [TS]

  beach folk feel real all the most of the [TS]

  characters developed even even the [TS]

  captain's like towards the end feel some [TS]

  somewhat developed he just has a a a [TS]

  really fantastic knack for being able to [TS]

  shape and explain a world without you [TS]

  feeling like you're you know either too [TS]

  overwhelmed or underwhelmed by it and [TS]

  poking holes through it so yeah i'm [TS]

  looking forward to reading drowned [TS]

  cities is it i started it i just [TS]

  finished ship breaker like 30 minutes [TS]

  before the podcast i started finished so [TS]

  it's very recent that's true damn or and [TS]

  almost more necessary action [TS]

  definity i only started reading ship [TS]

  breaker yesterday so you know I got [TS]

  through it quick but I'm you know I i [TS]

  read the first hundred pages of drowned [TS]

  cities in the half hour between [TS]

  finishing ship breaker and waiting for [TS]

  this podcast artisan like this world is [TS]

  actually really interesting and I really [TS]

  want to like go back to it as soon as [TS]

  possible haha told you so I don't know [TS]

  I'm yeah I'm glad I'm glad that I'm glad [TS]

  that you liked it when I first heard [TS]

  about it from scott who said it was very [TS]

  good because we were talking about the [TS]

  wind up girly snow [TS]

  shipbreakers better than the window girl [TS]

  he liked the wind up girl but it's [TS]

  really haven't read the windup girl yet [TS]

  so [TS]

  I make some people hate another and some [TS]

  people that love it and I I much to my [TS]

  surprise when i was reading it i [TS]

  discovered that i loved it so I voted [TS]

  for it over the city in the city by me [TS]

  evil and they tied so it didn't I guess [TS]

  I'm the reason since I my vote actually [TS]

  in town i'm the reason they tied because [TS]

  I I thought it was I don't like the city [TS]

  in the city too but it seems that he was [TS]

  very good but the windup girl just you [TS]

  know [TS]

  yeah I thought it was really i thought [TS]

  was really good and that this is a [TS]

  similarly similarly good i think it [TS]

  maybe is better [TS]

  Scott I mean that is a really good it's [TS]

  working my wife is a children's [TS]

  librarian and she's recommended it and [TS]

  she read it before I did in fact and [TS]

  she's recommended it to many many people [TS]

  now which i think is really cool to find [TS]

  somebody who doesn't read a lot of [TS]

  sci-fi some but not a lot but has you [TS]

  know a conduit to young minds who want [TS]

  to read books and is saying ship breaker [TS]

  is you know is a highly recommended book [TS]

  so that's good too [TS]

  I will take full credit for all of that [TS]

  you should you are molding young minds [TS]

  in California from far away in [TS]

  Philadelphia you are the monster tour I [TS]

  know [TS]

  yes but it's got i'm going to send you a [TS]

  list of really good young adult novels [TS]

  that I hope you will not hate [TS]

  so you can expand your reach of really [TS]

  cool ones should see see me i'm at that [TS]

  way i would love to see the list of I [TS]

  don't pass that onto to Lauren who can [TS]

  use more things to recommend in the [TS]

  children's library so yeah I mean [TS]

  they're all they're all like five and [TS]

  10-year olds a recommendation about [TS]

  salon might yeah they're still on my [TS]

  shelf will still cool books to go bad [TS]

  books are all short I'm Leslie when [TS]

  they're about apocalyptic futures that's [TS]

  true well sometimes to go bed [TS]

  we're not talking about this [TS]

  that's not discussing this podcast so [TS]

  now because miss Caldwell has not yet [TS]

  read the rest of the drowned cities [TS]

  oh and we are going to have to shake [TS]

  goodbye to her [TS]

  we're going to put her in the soundproof [TS]

  booth or actually just you know maybe [TS]

  hang up and go crawl into bed and read [TS]

  through and read the rest of them and so [TS]

  you two can talk so yes we thank you for [TS]

  your service and [TS]

  thanks for being on this on this podcast [TS]

  and and we will say could we will part [TS]

  ways and it's just gonna be me and Scott [TS]

  the rest of the way who is podcast is [TS]

  over for you know it's just be a night [TS]

  goodnight goodbye point yeah she's going [TS]

  i'm scott you're the last one left again [TS]

  I i just am a winner [TS]

  I'm a survivor that's why i am you are [TS]

  and a mod store constantly they don't [TS]

  wait up a new word and you are it [TS]

  yes so the dream cities the drowned [TS]

  cities [TS]

  what did you think jason has compared to [TS]

  the ship breakers which one you like [TS]

  more [TS]

  I like ship breaker better i did as well [TS]

  which is not to say that the grounds [TS]

  that i liked around cities and now one [TS]

  of the questions I had for you was it is [TS]

  is the drowned cities darker than ship [TS]

  breaker and and Mike the reason that i [TS]

  keep going back and forth on this is [TS]

  that in the drowned cities the kids we [TS]

  meet at the beginning have a semi stable [TS]

  life I mean they lost their old life but [TS]

  they like you're working for this doctor [TS]

  in a village and you know they kind of [TS]

  got a system whereas the kids and ship [TS]

  breaker just you know slaves and it's [TS]

  miserable [TS]

  the difference is that they have a nice [TS]

  kind of adventure that leads to meeting [TS]

  a rich girl who it might save them [TS]

  whereas just terrible things happened to [TS]

  kids in the surrounding cities terrible [TS]

  things I i think that without a doubt [TS]

  the drowned city is much darker than [TS]

  ship breaker if only because of the the [TS]

  number of times people say maggot maggot [TS]

  it's it's a it's a we can't swear in the [TS]

  young adult fiction so instead we get [TS]

  maggot every and you you wrote you but [TS]

  you didn't ruin I would have noticed [TS]

  anyway but when you pointed out they say [TS]

  Megan a lot as i was reading it I Bryce [TS]

  started to notice that they say make it [TS]

  a lot [TS]

  everybody's a maggot there were maggots [TS]

  their magnetism maggot that training [TS]

  maggots [TS]

  yeah hallelujah it's raining minutes and [TS]

  so is why is to the drowned cities uh [TS]

  they're like child the a lot of the [TS]

  characters are child soldiers basically [TS]

  right so yeah they're young i mean i [TS]

  think and it really did forget how young [TS]

  they are and then they they eventually [TS]

  end up someplace where there are people [TS]

  like we're in their teens or twenties [TS]

  and you realize oh geez these kids are [TS]

  like 10 12 years old right and so that [TS]

  the teenagers are like the officers the [TS]

  experienced people he actually get [TS]

  uniforms instead of just a an automatic [TS]

  machine [TS]

  no it don't even think about machete and [TS]

  it all that's true you have been a [TS]

  bottle of acid you start with a machete [TS]

  and a bottle of acid see there you go if [TS]

  you know any book that had [TS]

  as ten-year-olds waging war fair with a [TS]

  machete and a bottle of acid is pretty [TS]

  dark pretty dark pretty dark [TS]

  yeah yeah so we we meet Malia and mouse [TS]

  and they are kids who are working for [TS]

  this doctor in this village and an army [TS]

  and militia that's one of these groups [TS]

  that we we realize we're we're actually [TS]

  in the Potomac basin and this is around [TS]

  Washington DC and and these various [TS]

  militia groups are are are fighting this [TS]

  endless war with each other and they [TS]

  they come to their village because [TS]

  they've been chasing a monster through [TS]

  the jungle that monster of course is [TS]

  tool [TS]

  Oh half-man from fully booked [TS]

  yes Tyler all right yes yes the spoiler [TS]

  horn by the way that sounded for the [TS]

  drowned cities hopefully if you have not [TS]

  read it and do not want to be spoiled so [TS]

  so tool tools presence causes all the [TS]

  stuff to happen basically and Malia and [TS]

  mouse watch their village get torched [TS]

  yeah the doctor is killed horribly you [TS]

  know just awful things happen and and [TS]

  the mouse is taken in by a hand [TS]

  recruited by this uh this militia and so [TS]

  they're they're turning him into another [TS]

  faceless killing machine soldier boy [TS]

  throughout throughout this book while [TS]

  Malia is talking to and arguing with [TS]

  tool tools like well let's just leave it [TS]

  leave that lets run we are outnumbered [TS]

  and our only chance of getting out of [TS]

  this is if we leave him and there's no [TS]

  logic to stay you notice you're not [TS]

  going to be able to save him and she [TS]

  insists she doesn't i think is very [TS]

  clever that she figures out tools kind [TS]

  of pack mentality because it's kinda [TS]

  been programmed into him because he's [TS]

  part dog and she's like well he's a pack [TS]

  member we need to save him and tools [TS]

  like well alright yeah yeah I can't [TS]

  decide whether that's Malia manipulating [TS]

  tool or whether tool is like almost like [TS]

  reading her feelings for him and [TS]

  saying oh and extrapolating I great i go [TS]

  he's like part of your pack I oh that I [TS]

  understand i'm not sure what what which [TS]

  one it is but it's it's effective right [TS]

  that then suddenly he is ready to leave [TS]

  and decides not to and and she tries to [TS]

  save his life so that he'll owe her and [TS]

  he laughed it off it says I don't owe [TS]

  you anything and yet he he ends up going [TS]

  with her anyway for his own reasons and [TS]

  I you know such an interesting character [TS]

  because he's not he's not human and he [TS]

  does not behave like a human but he has [TS]

  his own honor and his own kind of code [TS]

  and he's happy to rip people into into [TS]

  shreds but at the same time he's he's [TS]

  he's like a weapon that his that is [TS]

  turned back on its creators and he's now [TS]

  it's like an a a tool of vengeance [TS]

  against those who created him [TS]

  that's true yeah and I think it's a he [TS]

  is probably the most fleshed out of the [TS]

  characters not the other characters are [TS]

  like caricatures i think a Paolo [TS]

  Bacigalupi it does a great job getting a [TS]

  lot of characterization into all of his [TS]

  characters and I think tool and mouse [TS]

  are probably my two favorite characters [TS]

  in this book [TS]

  um and which makes mouse's story even [TS]

  more depressing 40 as it was heroin [TS]

  right that he is you actually are seeing [TS]

  the steps that he goes through to sort [TS]

  of dehumanize him and and there's a [TS]

  moment where heat more mouse has this [TS]

  great success where he because he's not [TS]

  very valuable they basically thrown in [TS]

  the water and have them swim over to [TS]

  where there are snipers figuring you [TS]

  know you get shot whatever he does it [TS]

  doesn't matter and he succeeds and like [TS]

  all the people who are with him die and [TS]

  he kills and then he kills a bunch of [TS]

  people and his coup de Gras is that he [TS]

  calls in the radio is very smart righty [TS]

  call him on the radio that people who [TS]

  are firing artillery and tells him to [TS]

  move it back a few hundred yards which [TS]

  blows up their fellow soldiers instead [TS]

  of his soldiers from so children right [TS]

  and so it's you're like yay [TS]

  uh actually not a second yeah he's [TS]

  killed people and all of that but that [TS]

  so you're rooting for him and then you [TS]

  realize what you're doing which is he is [TS]

  becoming increasingly one of these like [TS]

  Jojo who is one of the other characters [TS]

  who is sort of like Mouse further along [TS]

  he's been further dehumanizing Malia [TS]

  gets a sense that ocho I you know there [TS]

  are moments when he's like a human being [TS]

  and moments where he's like a completely [TS]

  inhuman killing machine [TS]

  she doesn't really understand it better [TS]

  but now with with mouse's progression [TS]

  you see this is what happens is these [TS]

  kids are great card sort of ground-up [TS]

  and the ones who survived end up being [TS]

  they've seen all of these people died [TS]

  and they've come become completely [TS]

  dehumanized yeah it's fun [TS]

  it is it is an uplifting story it's a [TS]

  it's a rough so so it's all set it [TS]

  what's interesting is I read an [TS]

  interview with with Paolo Bacigalupi [TS]

  where he was talking about the subject [TS]

  matter and how he is not a non-political [TS]

  writer at all because he does have these [TS]

  other environmental themes in his work [TS]

  but that hehe said that as he was [TS]

  writing it he found that he was much [TS]

  more overtly political than usual and [TS]

  you see it in setting it in washington [TS]

  DC I and having these different kind of [TS]

  militia groups that are like the Army of [TS]

  God and the Patriots and all these sorts [TS]

  of things and they're there are several [TS]

  passages where he talks about how all [TS]

  this started with people who disagreed [TS]

  with the beliefs of other people saying [TS]

  they were traders or not patriotic and [TS]

  it's clearly his his take on our current [TS]

  events you know fractured political [TS]

  system where if you don't believe what I [TS]

  believe you are not you know you're not [TS]

  an American or you're against America or [TS]

  you're not a patriot and and you know [TS]

  which wich so did you find that stuff to [TS]

  be having praised him for not being too [TS]

  preachy and ship breaker did you find [TS]

  that stuff i mean i was a little more [TS]

  overtly like I'm sending you a message [TS]

  now [TS]

  yeah it was it was kind i think that was [TS]

  part of the reason why i didn't like [TS]

  this book as much [TS]

  ship breaker because it was kind of more [TS]

  so than ship breaker wearing its lesson [TS]

  on its sleeve as it were especially [TS]

  given like you said setting in [TS]

  Washington making these tee two groups [TS]

  so kind of obviously mirroring what's [TS]

  happening uh now uh without trying to [TS]

  shade it at all really [TS]

  um right it's because it's the Patriots [TS]

  against the Army of God writes these two [TS]

  groups that are saying we're for [TS]

  goodness rackets as they as they shell [TS]

  the hell out of each other kill each [TS]

  other and they don't know nobody really [TS]

  knows why they're trying to kill each [TS]

  other and the any other interesting [TS]

  thing and the climax is at the Capitol [TS]

  right right and so that that's not a [TS]

  message at all is it there in the [TS]

  Capitol building in the Capitol building [TS]

  basically is blown up in the climax [TS]

  which so it's all this time it hasn't [TS]

  really gotten hurt but now [TS]

  yeah yeah yeahs a six-time acts of this [TS]

  book it's the Capitol dome is gonna gets [TS]

  mad it's a giant building that is [TS]

  clearly a target but it's react and so [TS]

  the other thing that was kind of a [TS]

  little heavy-handed is so the Chinese [TS]

  have a apparently survived the eco [TS]

  apocalypse a fairly well and so they [TS]

  come into America to be like the [TS]

  Peacekeeper to be peacekeeper sins to [TS]

  teach people how to you know have a [TS]

  democracy and live civilized and you [TS]

  know how they can instead of a fighting [TS]

  each other they can farm and turn their [TS]

  you know they have all these [TS]

  motivational sayings and this literature [TS]

  and they paint propaganda to help people [TS]

  to wrap and only a million father was a [TS]

  Chinese peacekeeper who met her mother [TS]

  who is an American and and had her and [TS]

  then the Chinese pull out and she's left [TS]

  behind rises the Sun and they they run [TS]

  to the docks right when they're leaving [TS]

  because clearly hey we're his family [TS]

  there's growing room on the boats and [TS]

  which is so so clearly like a Vietnam [TS]

  kind of a parallel except that we're [TS]

  Vietnam and this is exactly [TS]

  and this is like what you're saying [TS]

  before he kind of twists a what's the he [TS]

  makes the and I imagine he's writing for [TS]

  largely American audience but that could [TS]

  be wrong so he kind of Western audience [TS]

  westerns that's true and so he he shifts [TS]

  your normal expectations of well that [TS]

  doesn't happen to people in Western [TS]

  civilization's yeah i mean not to not to [TS]

  be too blunt about it but I I feel like [TS]

  one of the the tricks he doesn't it can [TS]

  be very effective is he saying and he [TS]

  uses this he says is this person red [TS]

  hair and this person was blonde with [TS]

  pale skin and what he's saying is he's [TS]

  telling a story essentially about about [TS]

  what has happened recently in fact in [TS]

  Africa especially where there are [TS]

  militias with children do and they do [TS]

  and and horrible things happen in these [TS]

  children are kind of dehumanized as they [TS]

  live through these horrible violent [TS]

  spurts in in especially in Africa and so [TS]

  he tells that same story except he he [TS]

  makes a point of saying you know these [TS]

  are white kids and and and blackheads [TS]

  and Asian kids and they look like [TS]

  Americans and and you know what he's [TS]

  saying is imagine imagine how horrible [TS]

  this would be if it happened to you [TS]

  now imagine the fact that it is [TS]

  happening yeah today [TS]

  oh by the way it's in Washington DC yeah [TS]

  yeah so it hits home but he's also so [TS]

  he's making its that statement about you [TS]

  know your your environment your culture [TS]

  could be destroyed by your actions but I [TS]

  i'm interested in the fact that he's [TS]

  also making a side statement which is [TS]

  you know you can ignore the violence or [TS]

  have it be remote in some places like [TS]

  Africa but you can't I it's harder to do [TS]

  that when i when i make you think of it [TS]

  in the context of a bunch of little [TS]

  American kids who are who have a machete [TS]

  and a Nevada of acid and are and you [TS]

  know are chopping off limbs and [TS]

  indiscriminately killing people [TS]

  so yeah it's kinda dark but but i think [TS]

  really effective in that way of of [TS]

  saying you know these are horrible [TS]

  things and they're not the horrible [TS]

  things that happened this book or not [TS]

  things that haven't happened [TS]

  world they just haven't happened in the [TS]

  future in America so you know it makes [TS]

  it that all the more horrible i guess to [TS]

  see you know to look at these characters [TS]

  and say these are our these are us and [TS]

  and we don't have you know it's funny I [TS]

  mean logically of course this is not [TS]

  true but you know one of the nice things [TS]

  about science fiction is is he can use [TS]

  that device to say look you're you as an [TS]

  American are used to seeing the poor [TS]

  people in these terrible places with his [TS]

  terrible violence as having different [TS]

  color skin and different looking faces [TS]

  and being able to sort of like just say [TS]

  well that sort of thing doesn't happen [TS]

  to people like us right now with plastic [TS]

  a loop he says in both these books is [TS]

  yeah you're you wanna bet [TS]

  how do you how do you how would feel if [TS]

  it did happen to people who looked like [TS]

  you who were you how then how horrible [TS]

  would this be and that's that is one of [TS]

  these things that he doesn't answer is [TS]

  it's it's really really horrible [TS]

  spoiler alert not cool it is it is [TS]

  terrible [TS]

  that's O'Toole meanwhile takes Malia and [TS]

  I'm like on his back and breathe air [TS]

  into her mouth and maybe go into the [TS]

  heart of the drowned cities and the end [TS]

  the climax there in the basement of [TS]

  capital basically and he gets he gets [TS]

  free because he was captured by the way [TS]

  protip do not take the captured half-man [TS]

  to your lair and hope he doesn't get out [TS]

  yeah and talked a little while and then [TS]

  justice and have a guy with the keys get [TS]

  a little too close to exactly it's a lot [TS]

  of ground a bad idea because what [TS]

  happens is he gets out and he like [TS]

  literally kills just by tearing shooting [TS]

  or tearing them limb from limb every [TS]

  major senior figure in this one militia [TS]

  is just they're all dead [TS]

  me and it's it's it's Malia and Jojo and [TS]

  tool i think so [TS]

  in the basement with dead people all [TS]

  around them [TS]

  wow it's [TS]

  a pretty dark oh and i didn't even [TS]

  mention the fact that I'm Malia's mother [TS]

  has apparently squirrels away or stolen [TS]

  like all of the key artifacts of like [TS]

  the Constitution you from the National [TS]

  Archives she's basically taken all [TS]

  valuable artifacts and hidden like a [TS]

  secret room in her apartment building [TS]

  and once again playing with that whole [TS]

  idea of there's kind of two [TS]

  civilizations here one people living in [TS]

  the dragon city with to uh you know [TS]

  children soldiers kill each other and [TS]

  crazy militias fighting over inch by [TS]

  inch over a city that's basically ruined [TS]

  and worthless [TS]

  yeah and then you have like [TS]

  businesspeople from China coming by to [TS]

  purchase a the artifacts artifacts [TS]

  executor laying around because they want [TS]

  to save them from this this war-torn [TS]

  place and this is right this actually [TS]

  happens in the real world right yeah [TS]

  right right that people from the the [TS]

  rich countries come to the poor [TS]

  countries and exploit them and accept [TS]

  and occasionally the UN since [TS]

  peacekeeping forces right or NATO and [TS]

  that's what the a and you know as [TS]

  Americans were always the ones who are [TS]

  sent to those places and so again just [TS]

  like with the Vietnam parallel that [TS]

  parallel of being the place where the [TS]

  peacekeepers are sent and they are [TS]

  condescending and they're like you [TS]

  people are savages why don't you why do [TS]

  you do this why do you fight when you [TS]

  could be cultured and have a democracy [TS]

  all of these things and and he just [TS]

  turns it he just turned it all around [TS]

  yeah so did you get did you get what the [TS]

  drowned city stands for did I get with [TS]

  the ground city stands for its DC oh I [TS]

  did not make that connection haha very [TS]

  proud of myself when I realized that [TS]

  drowned cities means DC it's washington [TS]

  DC the drowned cities [TS]

  well I did not pick up another haha off [TS]

  two points for you Jay yes oh yes [TS]

  finally [TS]

  I'm off to my drought I 10 points for a [TS]

  very long time it's true but so and tool [TS]

  in this book is is is more to do it does [TS]

  is a lot more to do and and he was an [TS]

  interesting character in ship breaker [TS]

  but in drowned cities he is fascinating [TS]

  because you get you get more to Rennes [TS]

  question about what we learned about him [TS]

  I don't think we learned his origin [TS]

  story that's still kind of a mystery [TS]

  other than the fact that he's just sort [TS]

  of um didn't behave plank [TS]

  other like here is just not like the [TS]

  other moms yeah it is his pack died and [TS]

  he should have just died with them and [TS]

  he decided he didn't care and he would [TS]

  just be his own guy but such a [TS]

  fascinating character because he is even [TS]

  though he has a monster he is he is a [TS]

  above us in many ways i love that he is [TS]

  more not just stronger but more [TS]

  intelligent and he's built for war right [TS]

  and he is priorities are very different [TS]

  his morality is very different but he [TS]

  does have a morality and he is [TS]

  incredibly intelligent and it's just [TS]

  such a great character to see you know [TS]

  it is almost like an alien being in a [TS]

  way where he's he's except that he's not [TS]

  above us like so many aliens are [TS]

  portrayed as being kind of like these [TS]

  ethereal beings that are above us he is [TS]

  a is a killing machine but yet also is [TS]

  has all these other traits that are so [TS]

  much better than the people we see it's [TS]

  just it's a it's a really interesting [TS]

  character true and I think he says at [TS]

  one point the Betty what he does is he [TS]

  survives like he goes and he's been in [TS]

  all these different battlefield he's [TS]

  killed people on every confidence and [TS]

  write the main thing that he has learned [TS]

  is that he survives no matter what [TS]

  battle he goes into he is going to [TS]

  survive and that's kind of how frames [TS]

  his [TS]

  his whole view outlook on life he does [TS]

  what he needs to do to survive and that [TS]

  I think is kind of how he kinda [TS]

  overrides his genetic programming [TS]

  somehow because he want he needs to [TS]

  survive he's not just going to lay down [TS]

  and die like the rest of them like they [TS]

  think he should write when we need him [TS]

  right he's been bitten by a gigantic [TS]

  crocodile and his arms almost falling [TS]

  off and he only has the 1i and but he he [TS]

  makes it he survives it's hard it's hard [TS]

  to kill it is hard to kill as an [TS]

  enormous half man half tiger hyena dog [TS]

  monster guy any word you what you might [TS]

  expect that he be difficult to kill is [TS]

  very hard to kill [TS]

  this is true anyway he would I was [TS]

  really that was really good character to [TS]

  write was nice to see more of him and [TS]

  get a little more since I would like to [TS]

  see him again [TS]

  in fact maybe the next book will just be [TS]

  all about tool the Avengers a tool [TS]

  that's right yeah it could be open up [TS]

  but maybe who knows it could be so so in [TS]

  general the thumbs up for a drink [TS]

  general the thumbs up for a drink [TS]

  cities yeah i would think if you liked a [TS]

  ship breaker you like the drowned cities [TS]

  i don't know if you necessarily have to [TS]

  breathe [TS]

  I mean you don't they don't continue the [TS]

  same story [TS]

  no no crosses over so they stand alone [TS]

  you don't have to read one or the other [TS]

  if we're going to implementation I think [TS]

  the implication is that is that drowned [TS]

  cities comes after ship breaker but even [TS]

  that it's not it's not a hundred percent [TS]

  me a tool never mentions yeah any of [TS]

  what he's done in the previous book so [TS]

  right if you had to choose if you only [TS]

  have time for one of them i would think [TS]

  you should show the ship breaker [TS]

  yeah but it really quick reads and there [TS]

  are both well done so i would say thumbs [TS]

  up [TS]

  yeah they don't feel dumb down I mean to [TS]

  get back to the point about yaa books [TS]

  and general david this is not a it's not [TS]

  dumb down book it just because I mean [TS]

  there isn't there isn't bad language [TS]

  just maggots stream agate and if you're [TS]

  offended by the word maggot don't read [TS]

  that around cities there's lots of [TS]

  maggots are there is a lot of maggots [TS]

  all over the place but it's so funny to [TS]

  me that so young adult fiction you know [TS]

  don't swear [TS]

  and don't have sex but it's okay to have [TS]

  kids [TS]

  cutting down kids and have really [TS]

  horrible violent things yeah really [TS]

  twisted like psychological things going [TS]

  on [TS]

  that's ok but hey don't swear yeah we [TS]

  want the kids to get the wrong idea yeah [TS]

  i know i know it is very strange [TS]

  it's a very strange set of parties [TS]

  because it is it is so I mean what [TS]

  they're these are kids in with my ship [TS]

  machetes hacking off the arms of other [TS]

  kids and throwing acid in each other's [TS]

  faces you know this is not just horrible [TS]

  yeah it's not that they don't swear they [TS]

  just a maggot exactly so it's ok so it's [TS]

  all right i don't have sex except for [TS]

  the except well actually is a sex scene [TS]

  in and around cities i guess we should [TS]

  say because they wouldn't they they get [TS]

  naylor high / drunk on stuff is [TS]

  initiation or not naylor mouse [TS]

  yes his initiation into being the [TS]

  faceless member of a militia and that [TS]

  was that reminds me the kind of the the [TS]

  really chilly point for me is when mouse [TS]

  starts at some point so the the kids uh [TS]

  in the militia they they kind of [TS]

  basically shanghai mouse and he becomes [TS]

  a soldier right and they give my name [TS]

  and donate right coast is his new name [TS]

  and at some point during the narrative a [TS]

  Palo stops calling and mouse himself [TS]

  stops thinking of himself as mouse and [TS]

  thinks of himself as ghosts [TS]

  yeah at that point you're like oh boy [TS]

  that's after they get them to get them [TS]

  high and they thrown into the whorehouse [TS]

  basically the nail shed with Neil shed [TS]

  girls and when he wakes up the next day [TS]

  it's like ghosts woke up it doesn't [TS]

  agree that was very effective [TS]

  yeah yeah it's terrible that you know [TS]

  it's a it's his it his adventure is not [TS]

  a happy one [TS]

  he has a little PS a nice moment at the [TS]

  end but it's not that nice shirt and I [TS]

  mean I'm not a approved and I don't [TS]

  think that kids need to be sheltered but [TS]

  I i was reading this I thought to myself [TS]

  this is really a young adult book I mean [TS]

  it seems very extreme for a lot of the [TS]

  the violence seems a little like my head [TS]

  I'd say the high school level and yeah I [TS]

  guess that's true isn't it [TS]

  my daughter I wouldn't have my daughter [TS]

  read at ten there's no way but for high [TS]

  school kind of audience i think you know [TS]

  when i was reading stuff that was again [TS]

  probably inappropriate for or at least [TS]

  would be considered an appropriate for [TS]

  my age but it was fine [TS]

  I you know was fine read that piercing [TS]

  to me and go well [TS]

  ok so their sex in this book alright I [TS]

  don't know anything about that i'm only [TS]

  15 but i am going to read it and you [TS]

  know it which might be working in its [TS]

  own way if piers anthony is teaching you [TS]

  about [TS]

  well that is gonna be dark got a good [TS]

  thing but but I bi it this is yeah this [TS]

  is a like a high school level kinda and [TS]

  I mean I don't think it was it there was [TS]

  nothing that offended me your nose like [TS]

  a file it was of it's a good book i was [TS]

  just reading it is the thing about young [TS]

  adult fiction that throws me is that [TS]

  work young so I never know how young [TS]

  people are who are supposed to be [TS]

  reading this I think red said it's sorta [TS]

  like it's sorta like 12 to 17 or 10 to [TS]

  17 and it's a broad broad spectrum and i [TS]

  feel like my daughter is is creeping [TS]

  toward being able to read some of [TS]

  but it would be on the lower you know [TS]

  that the the younger and if admitted [TS]

  that is a broad range and at the high [TS]

  end you've got things that are you know [TS]

  in some ways just you know adult [TS]

  essentially adult but it without you [TS]

  know hardcore kind of sex and and [TS]

  language stuff which is you know fine i [TS]

  mean i-i who's to say that this book [TS]

  would have been this book regardless and [TS]

  that it's just both of these books are [TS]

  late able to be labeled as yaa because [TS]

  they are what they are right you know or [TS]

  or that but that politics loopy is just [TS]

  not he doesn't feel the need to have you [TS]

  know rough language and sex in every [TS]

  book that he writes I mean the windup [TS]

  girls got more sex and it's got more [TS]

  rough language but he's not there some [TS]

  writers that I think if you take that [TS]

  stuff away from them they would have a [TS]

  hard time and that he doesn't strike me [TS]

  as being rather like that so maybe he's [TS]

  writing is appropriate for that this [TS]

  format right and I think like Ren said [TS]

  she didn't even realize that ship [TS]

  breaker 10 adult book until she looked [TS]

  at it isn't a good sign that is a good [TS]

  sign and I think that is very true i [TS]

  don't it doesn't feel like he set out to [TS]

  kind of reddish in on the eight kids [TS]

  here's a book kids it's not like that [TS]

  you're gonna like it when you buy the [TS]

  action figure [TS]

  so before we go I wanted to ask even [TS]

  though it's just you and me I want to [TS]

  ask what are you reading [TS]

  Scott a oddly enough i just finished a [TS]

  book that i was reading today so I'm not [TS]

  it's not that on that you would finish a [TS]

  book that you're reading [TS]

  well that'sthat's know what I guess not [TS]

  so the book i just finished was the I [TS]

  only a sanction which is a mystery set [TS]

  in ancient greece about this character [TS]

  who is an agent and he looks into this [TS]

  this mystery about this the sky who is a [TS]

  representative of another city in athens [TS]

  and he dies mysteriously and so he has [TS]

  so it's it's a detective novel set in [TS]

  ancient greece it is in fact that's [TS]

  crazy that's great and there's another [TS]

  series of books that I'm reading that is [TS]

  a detective series set in ancient Rome [TS]

  so is it interesting a while there's a [TS]

  whole sub-genre of a [TS]

  ancient Oracle detective historical [TS]

  detectives in ancient in the Asian child [TS]

  huh [TS]

  they're like is there a caveman [TS]

  detective series there there probably is [TS]

  it's probably unless intricately [TS]

  plotters i would assume he again [TS]

  Chronicle this is a good thing it's a [TS]

  gold mine and and how about urself jason [TS]

  i am currently reading Leviathan wakes [TS]

  Oh which is one of the hugo nominees and [TS]

  we are going to do i believe our next [TS]

  book club is going to be the the hugo [TS]

  novel nominees in a few weeks once [TS]

  everybody gets a chance to read some of [TS]

  them I think we've all read some of them [TS]

  because we've actually done a podcast [TS]

  about two of them [TS]

  that's true embassy town and a dance [TS]

  with dragons [TS]

  hmm i but but i have no idea to read [TS]

  deadline which is the sequel to feed [TS]

  oh I really cute which you have read [TS]

  even say no don't spoil me sky any more [TS]

  than you already have I want to go in [TS]

  fresh because i'm going to read it the [TS]

  only reason i would read it is if it got [TS]

  nominated for Hugo and it did i'm gonna [TS]

  read it I am dreading the third one [TS]

  getting knob and what a guy what was the [TS]

  other OEM among others by John Walton [TS]

  which has got to be the leader in the [TS]

  clubhouse I mean oh that is such and [TS]

  which one we should say Joe Waltons book [TS]

  among others which we praise on previous [TS]

  podcast one the nebula award which is [TS]

  voted on not by fans who nominates [TS]

  terrible books like feed store but by [TS]

  the science-fiction writers association [TS]

  of america so it's the science fiction [TS]

  writers themselves nominating their [TS]

  peers and Joe Waltons book among others [TS]

  won the Nobel award for best novel and I [TS]

  i heartily endorse the nebula orange [TS]

  because that was a great choice and I i [TS]

  figure i'm probably gonna vote for among [TS]

  others for the hugo such a great book uh [TS]

  I having read all of the hugo of what I [TS]

  don't want to ruin anything but you [TS]

  among others is the best yeah that's the [TS]

  best one so sorry Leviathan wakes which [TS]

  is also funny and that it is a it is a [TS]

  sort of on one level it's a kind of [TS]

  space operate kind of the man is spread [TS]

  throughout the solar system and their [TS]

  people and all the different systems but [TS]

  it too has one of its interlocking [TS]

  stories is really a detective story it's [TS]

  true [TS]

  up who's on the cut you know he's a cop [TS]

  on the beat these given a bomb [TS]

  assignment but it's about a girl who's [TS]

  missing and is it his lieutenant tells [TS]

  him to drop it but he can't drop it I [TS]

  mean it's all these great detective [TS]

  Norrish kind of tropes it's true except [TS]

  it's happening in an asteroid and [TS]

  there's a war happening and there's [TS]

  mysterious ships that are blowing up [TS]

  other ships and i'm only about halfway [TS]

  through it but I'm enjoying that a lot [TS]

  that's and because I I registered for [TS]

  the for the hugo awards i am I got the I [TS]

  got that novel as a as a PDF as part of [TS]

  my packet as a voter and so I just been [TS]

  reading it on my iPad and in the PDF [TS]

  which was very very pretty and the [TS]

  single the sequel just came out if [TS]

  there's a secret i didn't even know what [TS]

  I hope I i hope i can do you like it [TS]

  because then I'll that I'll read the [TS]

  sequel but I'm enjoying it so far [TS]

  so that's what i'm reading is well fine [TS]

  weeks before that i read the drowned [TS]

  cities which we talked about before [TS]

  trying to keep up for the the book that [TS]

  i mentioned i read view from the [TS]

  Imperium which is a leica space opera [TS]

  parody basically these bows and i have a [TS]

  book on my kindle now that i should [TS]

  mention that it was on sale and maybe [TS]

  even still be on sale i don't know but [TS]

  you you said on Twitter that if you [TS]

  enjoy smart space opera you should get [TS]

  Sun of Suns yes i carly schroeder which [TS]

  i bought i hope you enjoy it [TS]

  alright well Scott I feel like we've [TS]

  we've covered the world the depressing [TS]

  future the destruction world of Paolo [TS]

  Bacigalupi i think i think i I'm a [TS]

  little worried about him I think he [TS]

  needs to lighten up because i have you [TS]

  seen his twitter account is why this [TS]

  girl is icon is a is a Mexican wrestler [TS]

  mask i did he's also maybe that is made [TS]

  so it's fun yeah it's kinda started but [TS]

  I read his i should say i read his short [TS]

  story collection pump six which is also [TS]

  good but again really depressing because [TS]

  it's the same stuff it is the it is the [TS]

  terrible you know eco catastrophe peak [TS]

  oil [TS]

  yeah exactly had so i will close up the [TS]

  book club for this time and thank [TS]

  serenity caldwell who has left us [TS]

  because she didn't read she's right now [TS]

  reading the drowned cities and learning [TS]

  about [TS]

  about the psychology of half-man tool [TS]

  and and scalability thank you so much [TS]

  for being here and and reading both [TS]

  books and turning me on to ship breaker [TS]

  in the first place [TS]

  you're welcome i take all the credit for [TS]

  any good book you've ever read and I'm [TS]

  glad that we got to got to the drowned [TS]

  cities before you'd forgotten what was [TS]

  in it I that I'm also glad that because [TS]

  i read is what happens is i read so much [TS]

  we decide on a book that we're going to [TS]

  talk about so i think i have to read [TS]

  this immediately and then not thinking [TS]

  oh it's probably like a month or two [TS]

  before we actually talked about is [TS]

  everybody else has to read it to exactly [TS]

  and then I forget everything right so [TS]

  you so we got at this time we did [TS]

  I've only read two books since I read [TS]

  the drowned cities and i should say for [TS]

  the those people out there who want to [TS]

  join the the incomparable book club you [TS]

  can find us on goodreads later on we are [TS]

  on the good [TS]

  goodreads and our next book club [TS]

  selection is going to be the hugo [TS]

  nominees so if you search for Hugo 2012 [TS]

  i believe you will find the hugo [TS]

  nominees but uh you know as we said they [TS]

  are a dance with dragons by george RR [TS]

  martin among others by Joe Walton both [TS]

  of which we've talked about a little bit [TS]

  embassy town by China Mieville which we [TS]

  had a whole podcast about that you can [TS]

  listen to if you like and the two that i [TS]

  have not yet read Leviathan wakes which [TS]

  i'm reading now which is by James sa [TS]

  Corey just not a real person not a real [TS]

  person and me and deadlines which is by [TS]

  mira grant also not a real person it's [TS]

  true and that's the sequel to feed and [TS]

  I'm just saying [TS]

  for those of you who hate us beating up [TS]

  on feed but I'm sorry for those of us [TS]

  who love love to hear the beating up on [TS]

  feed we're going to read the sequel and [TS]

  then we're going to talk about it so [TS]

  it's very exciting [TS]

  true i would say what I thought about [TS]

  the sea no notes on the toilet [TS]

  no I'm sure you loved it [TS]

  it was really good liar [TS]

  alright until that that forthcoming in a [TS]

  few weeks Hugo special book club [TS]

  this is jason sell for the uncomfortable [TS]

  thanks for listening thanks for tuning [TS]

  in to our book club and making Scott [TS]

  night field less lonely tonight [TS]

  [Music] [TS]